Script avatar-2007

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Script avatar-2007

  1. 1. AVATAR written by James CameronALL RIGHTS RESERVED. COPYRIGHT ©2007 TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILMCORPORATION. NO PORTION OF THIS SCRIPT MAY BE PERFORMED, PUBLISHED,REPRODUCED, SOLD, OR DISTRIBUTED BY ANY MEANS, OR QUOTED OR PUBLISHED INANY MEDIUM, INCLUDING ANY WEB SITE, WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OFTWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION.

  2. 2. THE SOUND OF DRUMS, from a great distance, growing louder.FADE IN:WE ARE FLYING through mist, a dimly glimpsed forest below. VOICE (V.O.) When I was lying there in the VA hospital, with a big hole blown through the middle of my life, I started having these dreams of flying.We are very low over the forest now, gliding fast, the drumsBUILDING to a PEAK -- VOICE (V.O.) Sooner or later though, you always have to wake up... CUT TO:EXT. CITY - NIGHTA SCREECH OF BRAKES as a vehicle WIPES FRAME, revealing --JAKE SULLY, a scarred and scruffy combat vet, sitting in abeat up carbon-fiber wheelchair. At 22, his eyes arehardened by the wisdom and wariness of one who has enduredpain beyond his years.Jake stares upward at the levels of the city. MAGLEV TRAINSWHOOSH overhead on elevated tracks, against a sky of garishadvertizing. JAKE (V.O.) They can fix a spinal, if you’ve got the money. But not on vet benefits, not in this economy.The traffic light changes and Jake pushes forward with thecrowd, pumping the wheels of his chair. Most of the peoplewear FILTER MASKS to protect them from the toxic air. In aLONG LENS STACK it is a marching torrent of anonymous,isolated souls.INT. JAKE’S APARTMENT - NIGHTThe room is a tiny CUBICLE, prison cell meets 747 bathroom.Narrow cot, wall-screen droning away in the B.G. -- PERKY NEWSCASTER The Bengal tiger, extinct for over a century, is making a comeback. These cloned tiger cubs at the Beijing Zoo are...
  3. 3. 2.Jake laboriously pulls his pants off -- rocking to one side,pushing the fabric down past his hip, then rocking to theother, and so on.His legs are white and atrophied. Utterly useless. But hisarms are tattooed and powerfully muscled. A “Born Loser”tattoo prominent on his shoulder. JAKE (V.O.) I became a Marine for the hardship. To be hammered on the anvil of life. I told myself I could pass any test a man can pass.Jake struggles with his pants a long time. CUT TO:INT. ROWDY BAR -- NIGHTNot the kind of place you’d bring your mom.We find Jake near the pool table, BALANCING his chair, frontwheels off the ground, while holding a tequila shot on hisforehead. ONLOOKERS, including some other disabled vets,CLAP and WHOOP.Jake grabs the glass, SLAMS down the shot as they cheer.A WALL-SIZED SCREEN filled with the World Cup game -- menRUNNING on antelope legs.CU JAKE, watching what he can’t have. Expression stony. JAKE (V.O.) Let’s get it straight up front. I don’t want your pity. I know the world’s a cold-ass bitch.Jake’s eyes shift -- HIS POV, seeing the bar through gaps inthe crowd. A MAN on a barstool SLAPS the WOMAN he’s with.Hard. She cowers but he’s got her arm, shouting, raising hisfist. An eternal tableau. People look away.CU JAKE -- not looking away. JAKE (V.O.) You want a fair deal, you’re on the wrong planet. The strong prey on the weak.TIGHT ON JAKE’S HAND as he starts pushing the wheel of hischair.TRACKING WITH HIM as he rolls forward.
  4. 4. 3. JAKE (V.O.) It’s just the way things are. And nobody does a damn thing.Jake stops, unnoticed, next to the bullying man. He leansdown and grabs one leg of the man’s barstool -- and YANKS.The chair flips. The guy goes down HARD and --JAKE hurls himself from the wheelchair, toppling on the guy,getting a grip on him like a pit bull and PUNCHING the crapout of him, right there on the floor.THE BOUNCER jumps in, trying to drag him off and it goes intoSLOW MOTION, everybody yelling and pulling... JAKE (V.O.) All I ever wanted in my sorry-ass life was a single thing worth fighting for. CUT TO:EXT. ALLEY BEHIND BAR -- NIGHTTHE BOUNCER hurls Jake out the door, sending him SPRAWLING onthe pavement. A moment later, his chair CRASHES down on him,banging across the alley, landing in the trash.Jake struggles to rise on one elbow. He’s bleeding andbruised, but still crazed and ready to fight. JAKE I hope you realize you’ve just lost a customer!He collapses onto his back, panting. JAKE (to himself) Candy ass bitch.He stares upwards at the levels of the city. MAGTRAINS ROARoverhead. It starts to RAIN. He just lies there, blinking --then shouts jauntily to no one in particular -- JAKE If it ain’t rainin’ we ain’t trainin’!CAMERA PULLS BACK high and wide, as Jake lies spread-eagledamongst the trash, getting drenched.TWO LONG SHADOWS enter FRAME, coming to rest across him.
  5. 5. 4.Jake sees two pairs of SHINY SHOES stop next to him. Hesquints up at --TWO MEN. Matching suits. Their features unremarkable andblandly threatening in the way of FBI agents and auditors. AGENT 1 Are you Jake Sully? JAKE Step off. You’re ruinin’ my good mood. AGENT 2 It’s about your brother. CUT TO:INT. MUNICIPAL CREMATORIUM - NIGHTDOWN-ANGLE on a large rectangular cardboard box. HANDS ENTERFRAME, pulling open the top to reveal a DEAD MAN’S FACE. Helooks EXACTLY like a clean-shaven version of Jake. HisIDENTICAL TWIN -- TOMMY. JAKE (V.O.) The strong prey on the weak. A guy with a knife took all Tommy would ever be, for the paper in his wallet.WIDER, showing Jake and the two agents in a high techCREMATORIUM -- a row of stainless steel furnaces. Jakestares down at his own face. JAKE Jesus, Tommy. JAKE (V.O.) The Suits’ concern was touching. AGENT 1 Your brother represented a significant investment. We’d like to talk to you about taking over his contract.The ATTENDANT closes the box and seals it with a tapedispenser, like it’s a package for shipping. The cardboardcoffin is rolled into the furnace. JAKE (V.O.) The egghead and the jarhead. Tommy was the scientist, not me. He was the one who wanted to get shot light years out into space to find the answers.
  6. 6. 5.PUSHING IN ON JAKE as he watches, bathed in orange light. JAKE (V.O.) Me -- I was just another dumb grunt gettin’ sent someplace I was gonna regret.INSIDE THE FURNACE the burners quickly eat away thecardboard; TOMMY’S FACE is, for a moment, wreathed in flamebut not touched by it, as we -- DISSOLVE TO:JAKE’S FACE, in icy darkness. CLOSE ON his eyes -- they OPENsuddenly, and he takes a sharp breath.JAKE’S POV -- the inside of a metal coffin. A SERVO WHINEand we are moving, emerging into a large chamber --INT. CRYO VAULTJAKE’S POV -- A TECH in medical scrubs FLOATS WEIGHTLESSLYtoward us. Wherever we are, we’re not on Earth.Jake squints as the lights flicker on, revealing --WIDE SHOT -- the multi-tiered CRYO VAULT. Hundreds of CRYO-CAPSULES are opening like morgue drawers, as med techs pullthemselves about in ZERO-G, tending to their patients. JAKE (a hoarse whisper) Are we there? MED TECH We’re there, Sunshine.TIME CUT -- SCORES OF PEOPLE emerge from their cryo-capsulesin ZERO-G. Pale spirits of the dead rising from rows of opencoffins.The MED TECH floats among them, using his announcement voice. MED TECH People, you have been in cryo for five years, nine months and twenty two days. You will be hungry, you will be weak. If you feel nausea, please use the sacks provided for your convenience. The staff thanks you in advance.
  7. 7. 6.FOLLOWING JAKE as he pushes away from his capsule, gliding tothe LOCKERS across the aisle, his paralyzed legs not animpediment in weightlessness. CUT TO:EXT. SPACEAgainst the cold infinity of stars glides an INTERSTELLARSPACECRAFT -- ISV VENTURE STAR. As it moves past like anendless train, we realize this thing is ENORMOUS -- over halfa mile long. PAN WITH IT 180 to REVEAL --A GAS-GIANT PLANET called POLYPHEMUS, ringed with dozens ofmoons which cast beauty-mark shadows on its vast face.The ISV diminishes away from us toward the largest MOON-- ablue and surprisingly Earth-like world called PANDORA. Theship dwindles to a speck against the BLUE MOON. CUT TO:EXT. PANDORA ORBITISV Venture Star drifts above a spectacular vista -- thesapphire seas and unfamiliar continents of Pandora.CLOSE ON ISV -- two massive “VALKYRIE” SHUTTLES are mated toa DOCKING NODE. One of them separates from the starship andmoves away, its thrusters FIRING in short bursts.As the shuttle moves away, descending toward Pandora, we hearthe sound of DRUMS, building, louder and louder until we-- CUT TO:EXT. RAINFOREST - TWILIGHTFLYING OVER A LANDSCAPE of massive cliffs and towering mesascarpeted in rainforest. Great scarves of cloud swirl aroundthe mesa tops. A primeval landscape, vast and forbidding.The trees are alien, the color too cyan. There arewaterfalls, rivers, and distant flocks of WINGED CREATURES.Suddenly the carpet of virgin rainforest gives way to --AN OPEN-PIT MINE. A lifeless crater -- as if a giant cookie-cutter took a chunk out of the world. Down among theterraces are EXCAVATORS and TRUCKS the size of three storybuildings.And beyond the mine is the HUMAN COLONY --
  8. 8. 7.EXT. HELL’S GATE - TWILIGHTHELL’S GATE is a cluster of squat concrete and steelstructures surrounded by chain-link FENCE 10 meters high,topped with razor wire.At the corners are towers with automated SENTRY GUNSswiveling on servo mounts.Visible beyond the gun towers, the VALKYRIE SHUTTLE roars inacross the treetops. VECTORING NOZZLES change angle,bringing the ship to a SLOW HOVER.EXT. RAIN FOREST - TWILIGHTThrough a screen of jungle canopy, we see the VALKYRIEthunder overhead. Camera TILTS with it until leaves blockthe view.A BLUE INHUMAN HAND reaches INTO SHOT, parting the foliage toreveal the shuttle hover-taxiing across the compound.REVERSE -- ECU of two intense, cat-like golden EYES watching.INT./EXT. SHUTTLEThe CREW CHIEF stomps down the aisle yelling -- CREW CHIEF Exopacks on!Passengers don their EXO-PACK breathing gear with practicedmoves. Everybody except JAKE, who’s turning his this way andthat trying to figure out the straps. CREW CHIEF Remember people, you lose your mask you’re unconscious in 20 seconds and you’re dead in four minutes. Let’s nobody be dead today, it looks bad on my report.The crew chief stops by Jake long enough to bark -- CREW CHIEF Exopack on, let’s go!BENEATH THE SHUTTLE air blasts outward for a hundred meterradius as it settles onto its landing gear.INSIDE everybody is queued up in the aisles, with dufflesready. Rows of tense, expectant faces in breathing masks --and we DIP DOWN to find Jake, wheelchair putting him at thelevel of everyone else’s WAISTS.
  9. 9. 8.THE CARGO RAMP OPENS with a hydraulic whine. CREW CHIEF Go directly into the base! Do not stop! Go straight inside!HAND-HELD, running with the arriving colonists who doubletime down the ramp. They jog across the exposed apron towarda walkway covered in CHAINLINK which leads to the complex.Inside the chain-link tunnel are a couple of SEC-OPSTROOPERS, CORPORAL LYLE WAINFLEET and PRIVATE FIKE. Sec-Opsis the colony’s private security force. These guys are laidback, hardened, and haggard. WAINFLEET Look at all that new meat.THEIR POV -- Jake rolls down the ramp. FIKE Check it out, man. Meals on wheels. WAINFLEET That is just wrong.Jake, pumping his chair, looks around as --A huge TRACTOR, taller than a house, ROARS past on muddywheels. He notices something sticking in the tires --ARROWS. The neolithic weapons are jarring amid all theadvanced technology.Beyond the tractor, two VTOL vehicles take off. Armored andheavily armed, they are AT-99 “SCORPION” GUNSHIPS.MITSUBISHI MK-6 AMPSUITS -- human operated walking machines 4meters tall -- patrol the perimeter. They are heavilyarmored, and armed with a huge rotary cannon called a GAU-90.Beyond the outer fence stands a black wall of forest hundredsof feet high. A SENTRY GUN OPENS FIRE from a tower. TRACERSlight up the twilight. A shadowy SHAPE SHRIEKS and drops offthe fence. It is an armed camp in a state of siege.WAINFLEET and Fike give Jake and his chair the hairy eyeballas he approaches. JAKE What’re you two limpdicks starin’ at?As Jake rolls past, SOMETHING SWOOPS down behind him and --
  10. 10. 9.K-KRASH! SMASHES against the chain-link right next to hishead.A vicious AERIAL PREDATOR a meter across gnashes glass fangsagainst the steel. It STABS at him through the chain linkwith a tail ending in a glistening stiletto. A STINGBAT.WAINFLEET casually BLASTS IT with his PISTOL. It drops offthe fence, tail still lashing. WAINFLEET Seen a lotta guys leave this place in a wheelchair. Never seen anybody show up in one.Jake stares at the gnashing fangs of the dying alien.ON A WALKWAY of the OPS CENTER, seen from above, a UNIFORMEDFIGURE grips the railing, watching Jake pump his chairthrough the tunnel below.The hair is clipped short. The scalp is etched by longparallel SCARS where some Pandoran denizen’s claws rakedacross it. The bare arms, below tightly rolled sleeves, seemhewn out of some hard tropical wood. Criss-crossed by scars.The MAN raises his masked face to look at the sky. He eyesare an icy steel gray.HIS POV -- the mighty POLYPHEMUS seems to fill the sky,beyond the clouds. MAN (V.O.) You are not in Kansas any more... CUT TO:INT. COMMISSARY - TWILIGHTTHE MAN from the balcony -- COLONEL MILES QUARITCH -- is theHEAD OF SECURITY for the Hell’s Gate colony. A hundred newarrivals watch raptly as he paces like a panther across thefront of the large cafeteria. He stops, stance wide.Without his mask, we see that Quaritch’s features are ruggedand handsome, except for the SCAR, which runs from scalp tojaw down one side of his face. On one hip he carries a verylarge PISTOL. QUARITCH ... You are on Pandora, ladies and gentlemen. Respect that fact every second of every day.
  11. 11. 10.JAKE ROLLS IN, watching from the back.COLONEL QUARITCH raises his hand and points out the window,toward the dark treeline. QUARITCH Out beyond that fence every living thing that crawls, flies or squats in the mud wants to kill you and eat your eyes for jujubees.The room gets very quiet. QUARITCH We have an indigenous population of humanoids here called the Na’vi. They’re fond of arrows dipped in a neurotoxin which can stop your heart in one minute. We operate -- we live -- at a constant threat condition yellow.PAN ACROSS the solid faces of miners, Cat-machine drivers,engineers, geologists, as they take that in. QUARITCH As head of security, it’s my job to keep you alive. I will not succeed -- (pausing for effect) -- not with all of you. If you wish to survive, you need a strong mental attitude, you need to follow procedure...PUSH IN ON JAKE, watching as the briefing continues. JAKE (V.O.) Nothing like an old-school safety brief to put your mind at ease. CUT TO:INT. CORRIDORPeople are roaming in both directions, looking for rooms,lugging duffels and cases.An eager young XENOANTHROPOLOGIST, staggering under anoverpacked duffel, runs to catch up to Jake. NORM Hey, you’re Jake right? Tom’s brother? You look just like him. (off Jake’s wary look) Sorry, I’m Norm Spellman, I went through avatar training with him.
  12. 12. 11.Norm offers his hand and Jake shakes it. NORM He was a great guy -- funny. It was a big shock to all of us. JAKE Yeah.Jake pumps the wheels of his chair, rolling on. Norm walkswith him. NORM And duh! -- obviously you look like him. I mean, if you weren’t genetically identical, you wouldn’t be taking over his avatar. JAKE That’s why I’m here. NORM So -- you want to go check it out? CUT TO:INT. BIO-LAB - DAYJAKE AND NORM enter the BIO-LAB -- a large lab complex withmany adjoining rooms. MAX Me and Norm were out here to drive these remotely controlled bodies called avatars. They’re grown from human DNA mixed with DNA from the natives here.A scientist, DOCTOR MAX CULLIMORE, is supervising theuncrating of two SHIPPING CONTAINERS. The nearer has thesides removed, revealing -- a ceiling-height acrylic TANK.Norm stops to stare, and Jake rolls past him as if drawn bysome unseen force, toward --THE AMNIO TANK. There is a FIGURE floating lanquidly inside,which looks like a man. A very large, very blue, man.Blood circulates through a synthetic UMBILICAL in theabdomen. As the figure turns in the amniotic fluid, we seethat it has a lemur-like TAIL. The skin is cyan-blue. Longblack hair drifts, graceful as seaweed. JAKE Damn. They got big.
  13. 13. 12. NORM Yeah, they mature on the trip out. (to Max) So the proprioceptive sims worked pretty well. MAX Yeah, they’ve got great muscle tone. Give us a few hours, you guys can take them for a spin.THE FIGURE’S sleeping face turns toward us, and the featuresare -- despite feline ears and a long feral snout --definitely JAKE’S. JAKE It looks like him. NORM No, it looks like you. This is your avatar now, Jake.ON JAKE, mesmerized as he stares into the tank. JAKE (V.O.) The idea is -- every driver is matched to his own avatar --STEREOCAM VIDEO SHOT OF JAKE -- facing the camera, talkingdirectly to the lens. JAKE’S VOICE-OVER up until now hasbeen part of this VIDEOLOG. JAKE -- so their nervous systems are in tune. Or something. Which is why they offered me this gig, because I can link with Tommy’s avatar, which was insanely expensive. (looking off camera) Is this right? I just say whatever in these videologs?WIDER, showing Norm working nearby with Max. NORM Yeah. You just need to get in the habit of documenting everything -- what you see, what you feel -- it’s all part of the science. Good science starts with good observation.
  14. 14. 13. JAKE Right. (to camera) So, whatever. Here I am. Doing science. (looks around) Never been in a lab before. MAX Log off. It’s time to meet your boss for the next five years.He leads Jake and Norm through the short corridor to the -- CUT TO:INT. LINK ROOM - DUSKThe LINK ROOM contains a dozen PSIONIC LINK UNITS, which looklike coffins crossed with MRI scanners. NORM Grace Augustine is a legend. Shes the head of the Avatar Program, and she wrote the book -- I mean literally wrote the book -- on Pandoran botany. MAX (low, over his shoulder) Thats because she likes plants better than people.DR. GRACE AUGUSTINE sits up in her link, stretching andcracking her neck after a long session. She’s fifty, with astrong face and fiercely intelligent eyes. GRACE (yelling) Who’s got my goddamn cigarette?!A TECH scurries to bring it to her, already lit. Around herethey jump when Grace barks.Grace stands, scowling, as Jake, Norm and Max approach. MAX And here she is, Cinderella back from the ball. Grace, I’d like you to meet Norm Spellman and Ja -- GRACE Norm. I hear good things about you. Hows your Navi?
  15. 15. 14. NORM (Navi, subtitled) May the All Mother smile upon our first meeting.Grace nods approvingly, taking a drag on her cigarette. GRACE (subtitled) Not bad. You sound a little formal. NORM (subtitled) There is still much to learn.Jake waits while they ignore him, chattering in fluent Na’vi. MAX Uh, Grace, this is Jake S---- GRACE (turning to Jake) Yeah, yeah, I know who you are, and I don’t need you. I need your brother. (to Max) You know -- the PhD who trained three years for this mission. JAKE He’s dead. I know it’s a big inconvenience to everyone. GRACE How much lab training have you had? Ever run a gas chromatograph? JAKE No. GRACE Any actual lab work at all? JAKE High school chemistry. But I ditched.Grace wheels on Max. GRACE You see? You see? They’re pissing on us without even the courtesy of calling it rain. (turning away) I’m going to Selfridge.
  16. 16. 15.She shoves past Jake. MAX Grace, that’s not a good idea.But she’s already out the door and clomping down thecorridor. Max turns to Jake with a pained look. MAX Here, tomorrow, oh eight hundred. Try to use big words. CUT TO:INT. OPS CENTER - DUSKIt looks like an air-traffic control tower, with lots ofscreens and bay windows showing the whole complex.ADMINISTRATOR PARKER SELFRIDGE takes a ball from a newlyopened case of TITLEISTS and sets it on the floor. Selfridgeis young, charismatic, focused. Some would say ruthless.He assumes the stance and lines up his putt, toward apractice cup across the control room floor. He glances up asGrace strides toward him. GRACE Parker, I used to think it was benign neglect, but now I see you’re intentionally screwing us. SELFRIDGE Grace. You know I enjoy our little talks. GRACE I need a research assistant, not some jarhead dropout.Selfridge looks down and hits the ball.Grace kicks the practice cup aside, and the ball rolls past.Selfridge looks at her with a sigh. SELFRIDGE Actually, we got lucky with him. GRACE Lucky? How is this in any way lucky?As Selfridge saunters over to retrieve the ball --
  17. 17. 16. SELFRIDGE Well -- lucky your guy had a twin brother, and lucky the brother wasn’t an oral hygienist or something. A Marine we can use. I’m assigning him to your team as security escort. GRACE The last thing I need is another trigger happy asshole out there! SELFRIDGE Look, you’re supposed to be winning the hearts and minds of the natives. Isn’t that the whole point of your little puppet show? If you look like them, if you talk like them, they’ll trust you?Selfridge crosses to his office, behind a glass wall nearby.Grace follows. SELFRIDGE But after -- how many years? -- relations with the indigenous are only getting worse. GRACE That tends to happen when you use machine guns on them.On Selfridge’s desk is a magnetic base, and hovering in mid-air, in the invisible field, is a lump of METALLIC ROCK.Pure UNOBTANIUM. He grabs it and holds it up between thumband forefinger, in front of Grace’s eyes. SELFRIDGE This is why we’re here. Unobtanium. Because this little gray rock sells for twenty million a kilo. No other reason. This is what pays for the party. And it’s what pays for your science. Comprendo?He places it back in the magnetic field. SELFRIDGE Those savages are threatening our whole operation. We’re on the brink of war and you’re supposed to be finding a diplomatic solution. So use what you’ve got and get me some results. CUT TO:
  18. 18. 17.INT. LINK ROOM - DAYNEXT MORNING, GRACE, NORM and JAKE approach their link units.Jake glances through a PRESSURE WINDOW. In an adjoiningchamber (the AMBIENT ROOM) JAKE’S AVATAR lies on a gurney,breathing slowly in PANDORAN AIR. NORM’S AVATAR is on asecond gurney. Both are attended by med techs in exo-masks.Norm slips into his LINK CHAIR, expertly donning biometricsensors. GRACE How much link time have you logged? NORM Five hundred and twenty hours.Grace looks pointedly at Jake. JAKE Like -- an hour. GRACE Tell me you’re joking.Grace opens the hood of Jake’s link unit. Jake startshauling himself across from his wheelchair. She reaches tohelp him but -- JAKE Don’t! I got this.Grace steps back, hands raised. He drags himself into theunit. GRACE So you just figured you’d come out here to the most hostile environment known to man, with no training of any kind, and see how it went? What was going through your head?He meets her eyes with a defiant glare. JAKE Maybe I was just tired of doctors telling me what I couldn’t do.Grace watches him laboriously pull his inert legs into thelink chair by hand.
  19. 19. 18.Jake settles into the warm fluid gel packs lining the unit.It seems to enfold him. Grace adjusts his biometric sensors,then lowers the UPPER CLAMSHELL -- GRACE Relax and let your mind go blank. That shouldn’t be hard for you. JAKE Kiss the darkest part of my lily white --But the SLAMMING HOOD muffles the rest. MAX Initiate link.The LINK TECH touches some controls.ON A LARGE MONITOR a 3D SCAN of Jake’s brain appears.Regions of activity flow with complex shifting colors. MAX That’s a gorgeous brain. Nice activity. GRACE Go figure. (walking away) Alright, I’m going in. TECH Phase-lock at forty percent. He’s in transition.Max watches a display showing the avatar’s nervous systemaligning with Jake’s -- two ghostly networks of lightmerging. MAX That’s it. Find your way home.ECU JAKE, inside the link unit. His eyes move under thelids, like a dreamer in REM sleep as --INSIDE JAKE’S MIND -- radiant streamers coalesce into apulsing TUNNEL OF LIGHT and --THE SCREEN FLARES WHITE -- ZZZWHAP! -- resolving into anoverexposed, out-of-focus image -- two BLURRY FACES wearingmasks, looking down.ECU JAKE’S AVATAR -- two very intense eyes FILL FRAME, thepupils contracting. Golden irises pulse with life.
  20. 20. 19. MAX He’s in. TECH Phase-lock ninety nine percent. The link is stable.Blinking, Jake slowly sits up on the gurney. He looks downat his AVATAR BODY, touching his chest with one hand. MAX Take it slow, Jake. We need to check your motor control. Try touching your fingertips together --But Jake isn’t listening. He’s staring at his legs. Heeases them off the gurney and --HIS BLUE FEET touch the concrete floor, taking his weight.JAKE STANDS, feeling the strength in his legs. Hisexpression is child-like with wonder.HIS POV -- looking down at the med techs, who seem the sizeof children next to his 9’ tall frame.He sees something like a blue tentacle curl across his armand he JERKS AROUND in alarm. HIS TAIL.As he turns to see it, the tail sweeps instruments off atable with a crash. Jake laughs and grins at Max. MED TECH Easy, Jake, I need you to sit down --But Jake takes a step, then another. The wires to the bio-monitors pull taut, and he yanks them off his chest. MAX Jake! Wait, we have to run some tests --But Jake pushes past the protesting med techs, toward thedoor and --EXT. AVATAR COMPOUND - DAYJake emerges, blinking in the morning sun. He finds himselfin the AVATAR COMPOUND -- a living and training area.Nearby, a couple of AVATARS are playing one-on-one in frontof a (non-regulation height) basketball net. Others go abouttheir daily activities around the compound.
  21. 21. 20.Jake flexes his legs -- JUMPS -- and lands a littleunsteadily, but his expression is joyful.He takes a few steps and breaks into a RUN. People arecalling to him, somehwere, but he doesn’t hear them -- he’srunning. RUNNING!He finds himself in the COMPOUND GARDEN, and stops amidneatly tended rows of ALIEN PLANTS. He looks down, wigglinghis toes in the warm soil. Then inhales deeply -- revellingin the alien smells -- earth, plants, the nearby forest. Helooks at his bare footprint in the soil of an alien world. GRACE (O.S.) Hey Marine!Jake turns at the familiar voice to see --A statuesque FEMALE AVATAR walking toward him. AVATAR GRACEis magnificent, with panther thighs, flat muscular stomachand firm athlete’s breasts. She wears shorts and a T-shirt.In human years she would be about 35. JAKE Grace? GRACE Well who’d you expect, numbnuts? Think fast!She throws him a piece of Pandoran fruit, which he catches. GRACE Motor control is looking good.Jake bites into the fruit, the juice running down his chin. NORM (O.S.) Hey, check it out.Jake turns to see NORM’S AVATAR posing like a bodybuilder --chest shot, back shot, bi’s. NORM I am a living god. CUT TO:EXT. MINE PIT - DAYA WIDE SHOT of the terraced crater of the UNOBTANIUM MINE. Aquiet beat, then --
  22. 22. 21.K-WHOOOOM! The entire face of one terrace is blown skywardin a chain of EXPLOSIONS. The “shot” blasts hundreds of tonsof rock loose.LONG LENS ANGLES of enormous WHEEL-LOADERS shovelling up ore-rich rock and dropping it into DUMP TRUCKS.EXT. RAINFOREST - DAYA wall of steel FILLS FRAME. The DOZER BLADE crusheseverything in its path, reducing trees to kindling.WIDER, showing the CLEAR-CUTTING operation near the mine, asa road is cut through the jungle. Remotely operated DOZERSthree stories tall rip into the tree-line.One of the dozers has rotating SLASH-CUTTER, a viciousspinning head, mounted on a hydraulic arm, that hogs throughthe enormous tree trunks in a spray of wood-shrapnel.The heavy machines are escorted by AMPSUITS. COLONELQUARITCH, on foot, leads a squad of troopers wearingbreathing masks and carrying almighty big AUTOMATIC WEAPONS.A BANSHEE -- a fearsome aerial predator -- HURTLES fromabove, diving toward them on wings 3 meters across. We get aglimpse of glassy fangs before --P-P-POOM! Quaritch cranks off three rapid SHOTS with hismassive sidearm, and the creature drops with a SHRIEK.It crashes near them and Quaritch FIRES two more well placedrounds. The newbies stare at the thing’s barracuda teeth. QUARITCH For you pogues, this is a banshee. A small one. See, they like it when I bring fresh meat out here. And this clearcutting really stirs up the hornet’s nest. So keep your head on a swivel. If it moves, shoot it. If you’re not sure it’s moving -- shoot it! If it looks like a bunch of flowers you want to take home to Sally Rottencrotch -- SHOOT IT! What’re you gonna do? TROOPERS Shoot it, sir! QUARITCH Outstanding. Let’s roll.
  23. 23. 22.Quaritch leads his squad into the gloom of the forest, hiseyes scanning. Flanking the squad, LYLE WAINFLEET drives anAMPSUIT, his massive feet CRASHING through the underbrush.As his gaze comes down, he sees something ahead of him on thetrail -- an intricate TOTEM of woven sticks, bones andfeathers hanging across the trail like an orb-weaver’s web.He tears it down with the barrel of his rifle, and stomps itinto the mud as he moves on.INT. AVATAR LONGHOUSE - DUSKJake sits on a wooden bed in a long hut of tropical-styleconstruction -- beamed ceiling, open sides covered by screen.Around him the other avatars are bedding down for the night,pulling insect netting around their cots. In one hand, Jakeholds the end of his long braided QUEUE of hair.CLOSE ON the queue -- the ends of the hair writhe slowly withtheir own life, like tendrils of a sea creature. JAKE That’s kinda freaky.GRACE switches off the overheads. GRACE Lights out amigos. See ya’ at dinner.Jake sits in the twilight, listening to the SCREECHES andHOOTS from the forest. Finally he lies down, CLOSING HISEYES and --INT. LINK ROOM - NIGHTECU HUMAN JAKE -- his eyes OPEN.Jake blinks, disoriented, as Max opens the upper clamshell ofhis link unit.In the next chair Grace sits up, yawning and cracking herneck as the scared tech runs to her with a lit cigarette. GRACE (looking down) Damn. Same old sack a’ bones.JAKE struggles with the dead weight of his legs as he haulshimself out of the unit. CUT TO
  24. 24. 23.INT. COMMISSARY - EARLY MORNINGJAKE sits with GRACE, NORM and the other avatar “drivers”,while around them miners, troopers and other base personnelwolf their breakfasts. Grace is engaged in a heatedconversation with another SCIENTIST.Jake, isolated from the conversations around him, notices --PILOT TRUDY CHACON approaching, dressed in her flight suit.She’s a rock-hard former Marine with thousands of flighthours out in the badlands. TRUDY Sully -- Colonel wants to see you in the Armor Bay.Jake gives Norm a puzzled glance and pivots from the table.He wheels away, led by Trudy.TIGHT ON GRACE, scowling as she watches him go. CUT TO:INT. ARMOR BAY - MORNINGJAKE AND TRUDY enter the ARMOR BAY, passing TILT-ROTORS underrepair. There are the heavily armed SCORPIONS as well asseveral SA-2 SAMSON work-horses outfitted with door guns androcket pods. JAKE You guys’re packing some heavy ordinance. TRUDY Yeah, ‘cause we’re not the only thing flyin’ around out there. Or the biggest. I’m gonna need you on a door gun, I’m a man short. JAKE Yeah, no problem.She extends her fist and he taps it with his. TRUDY See ya on the flight-line, zero nine. (she points) He’s down there.Jake rolls his chair along the central gallery of the ArmorBay, passing rows of AMPSUITS standing in service racks.Techs clamber over the ‘suits, loading ordinance with cranesand lifts.
  25. 25. 24.At the end of the row is a makeshift GYM area. QUARITCH isbench-pressing massive plates. QUARITCH This low gravity makes you soft. (pushing the last rep) You get soft, Pandora will shit you out dead with zero warning.Quaritch racks the bar and sits up, sweating but not winded. QUARITCH I pulled your record, Corporal. Venezuela -- that was some mean bush. Nothing like this here, though. You got heart kid, coming out here. JAKE I figured -- just another hellhole.Quaritch chuckles appreciatively, claps him on the shoulder.The CHIEF MECHANIC yells from the nearest AMPSUIT -- MECHANIC That servo’s in, Colonel, if you want to try it.Quaritch crosses to the ‘suit, with Jake following. QUARITCH I was in First Recon a few years ahead of you. More than a few. Two tours in Nigeria, not a scratch. I come out here and --He points to his scarred face. QUARITCH They could fix this if I rotated back. But you know what? I kinda like it. Reminds me every day what’s out there. Besides, I can’t leave --He looks out, as if he can see through the wall to the tree-line. QUARITCH This is my war, here.Quaritch climbs the ‘suit and reaches into the cockpit,throwing some switches. The ‘suit’s gas-turbine spools upwith a rising WHINE.
  26. 26. 25. QUARITCH The avatar program is a joke -- buncha limpdick scientists. But we have a unique opportunity here, you and I. A recon Marine in an avatar body could get me the intel I need, on the ground, right in the hostiles’ camp.The WHINE is now a roaring WHOOSH as the ‘suit trembles withpower. The air boils above the exhaust vents.Quaritch reaches in and operates the controls, flexing onehuge hand. He nods to the waiting mechanic -- QUARITCH Looks good. (to Jake) I need you to learn about these savages, gain their trust. Find out how I can force their cooperation, or hit ‘em hard if they don’t. Maybe you can keep some of my boys from going home like you. Or bagged-and-tagged. JAKE (nodding) That sounds real good, Colonel. So -- am I still with Augustine? QUARITCH On paper. You walk like one of her science pukes, you quack like one, but you report to me. Can you do that for me?Jake nods. Quaritch brings the ‘suit to life. He stepsforward and pivots smoothly.He balances the two ton machine on one foot while sweepingthe arms in strong, graceful arcs. Jake realizes he is doinga WU-SHOO KATA. A flawless display of strength and control.He’s impressive, and Jake is impressed. Quaritch is the kindof man he respects -- focused, hard. Determined. QUARITCH Look, son -- I take care of my own. Get me what I need, I’ll see you get your legs back when you rotate home. Your real legs.He raises the ‘suit’s hand, and slams the canopy shut likethe visor of a helmet. Jake watches Quaritch walk past, hugefeet CLANGING -- KUNG! KUNG! KUNG!
  27. 27. 26.INT. BIO LAB - DAYGRACE is on the move, gulping coffee, in a hurry to get theirFIRST SORTIE started. She hands a clipboard to MAX. GRACE Start calibrating. We’re on the flight line in ten minutes.Max nods and jogs ahead toward the LINK ROOM. JAKE and NORMfall in with Grace as they enter the CONNECTING CORRIDOR. GRACE What did Atilla want? JAKE Just Marines comparin’ tattoos. GRACE (not buying it) Yeah. Well, listen to me, Marine --She stops, turning to drill him with a look. GRACE -- you’re driving an avatar, now. That means you’re in my world, got it? JAKE Got it.She turns and enters the LINK ROOM.INT. LINK ROOMGrace crosses to the controls of Jake’s LINK UNIT. As theothers catch up -- GRACE That son of a bitch has screwed up this program enough. All this -- (indicating link room) -- exists so we can go out there and build a bridge of trust to these people, who could teach us so much. But thanks to Quaritch and his thugs the Na’vi won’t even talk to us anymore. JAKE Then how’s this supposed to work?
  28. 28. 27. GRACE We have a new face. (turning to Norm) You’re fluent, you’ve studied the culture. You’re non-threatening. The ones we know best -- the Omaticaya clan -- may give you a chance. Maybe you can get them back to the table before things go tits-up for good. NORM This is failing as a pep talk.Jake hauls himself across from wheelchair to link. JAKE How do we contact them? GRACE We don’t. They contact us. If they see us taking our samples, treating the forest with respect -- (pointedly to Jake) Not trampling everything in sight -- they may reach out to us. JAKE Or they may skin us and make a drum.Jake lies back, lowering the sensor array over his body. GRACE Just keep your mouth shut and let Norm do the talking.She closes his clamshell, HARD, and we -- CUT TO:EXT. RAIN FOREST / AERIAL - DAYFLYING over a carpet of rainforest, past sheer cliffs andcloud-wreathed mesas. TRUDY’S SAMSON TILT-ROTOR chases itsshadow across the treetops. Though big as a Blackhawk, it istiny in the vast primeval landscape.ANGLE THROUGH the open side doors of the Samson. TrooperWAINFLEET, in exo-mask and body armor, leans on his door gun,scanning for aerial predators.In avatar form JAKE, GRACE and NORM watch the forestunrolling beneath them, the wind blasting their clothes.Jake mans the other door gun, his feet propped on the skids.
  29. 29. 28.TRUDY flies from a pressurized cockpit. She banks to follow ashallow river. TRUDY (INTERCOM) Sturmbeest herd, one o’clock.Norm grins and points, excitedly. Jake looks in time to see--A herd of STURMBEEST -- massive six-legged creaturesreminiscent of buffalo -- thundering across the river. GRACE Looks like a bull, six cows and some juveniles. NORM The bull has the red on the dorsal armor?Grace nods approvingly.TIME CUT -- Hundreds of purple winged creatures take flightfrom a lake, startled by the Samson. They skim the waterabove their own reflections. TETRAPTERONS.TIME CUT -- the ground drops away as the Samson flies over aWATERFALL hundreds of feet high. Trudy banks hard, rollingin on the gorge below like it’s a gun-run.Wainfleet WHOOPS while Norm looks like he’s about to puke. WAINFLEET Yo Chacon! Get some!Jake grins into the airstream. CUT TO:EXT. CLEARING - DAYA small meadow among towering trees. The fern-like “grass”is beaten down in waves by the rotor-wash as the Samsonsettles to the ground.Jake pulls the massive door gun off its pintle mount andhefts it like an assault rifle.He and Wainfleet leap out to secure the LZ, scanning the tree-line warily, weapons aimed.Grace jogs forward to the cockpit, motioning Trudy to shutdown. Trudy kills the Samson’s TURBINES.Grace, towering over Wainfleet, motions him to hang back.
  30. 30. 29. GRACE Stay with the ship. (for Jake) One idiot with a gun’s enough. WAINFLEET Whatever you say, Doc.Jake takes point as they enter the jungle. WAINFLEET (laughing) Ya’ll have fun out there.EXT. RAINFOREST - DAYThe forest engulfs JAKE, GRACE and NORM in cyan gloom. Theshadows are alive with the CHITTERING sounds of unseen alienwildlife.TRACKING WITH JAKE as he moves through the foliage, hyper-alert -- looking around like a tourist in Hell.A monkey-likePROLEMURIS leaping from limb to limb overhead, flashingthrough the sunlight streaming down in shafts.A PLANT with swaying tendrils which reach toward Jake as hepasses.This forest is more alive than any on Earth, with plants thatreact and move like animals. Jake white-knuckles his rifleas if every shadow conceals razor-fanged death. GRACE Relax, Marine. You’re making me nervous.She pushes ahead of him on the trail, forcing him to lowerhis muzzle as he follows her. Grace moves nimbly on thepath, seemingly unconcerned. CUT TO:EXT. FOREST/ GLENWIDE SHOT as the party moves between the huge trees, tiny asants. The trail has gotten steeper, the going tougher. CUT TO:EXT. SCHOOL RUINS - DAYThey enter a clearing with an OVERGROWN BUILDING made oftimbers cut from the local trees, with a thatch roof. It iscovered with vines as the jungle reclaims it.
  31. 31. 30. NORM How will they know we’re here? GRACE I’m sure they’re watching us right now.Norm gulps. Jake looks behind him as they approach theschool, feeling unseen eyes. CUT TO:INT. SCHOOL RUINSTRACKING WITH JAKE’S BOOTS as he steps among dried leaves anda few moldering CHILDREN’S BOOKS. Floorboards CREAK. GRACE (O.S.) The kids were so bright, so eager to learn... they picked up English faster than I could teach it to them.WIDER as Jake explores the room. Grace and Norm are selectingINSTRUMENTS from storage cases on a wooden table. GRACE Bring the soil probe -- right there, yellow case.Jake looks up at a RUSTLING among the dark rafters. RoostingSTINGBATS eye him warily, fluttering their wings.Grace picks up a moldering copy of “The Lorax” by Dr. Seussfrom the floor and puts it back on a shelf. GRACE (wistfully) The stingbats knock them off. I guess I always hope somebody will come back and read them. NORM Why don’t they come back? GRACE (grimly) The Na’vi learned as much about us as they needed to know.Jake sees something, and approaches the blackboard -- reachesout to touch a pattern of holes blasted into the slate.Unmistakably BULLET HOLES.
  32. 32. 31. JAKE (turning to her) What happened here? GRACE (sharply) Are you going to help with this gear? We’ve got a lot to do.She turns away. Jake watches her as he jams equipment intohis pack. CUT TO:EXT. RAINFOREST - DAYCLOSE ON Grace’s blue hand gently brushing away soil,exposing a tangle of ROOT TENDRILS. GRACE See, right here where the roots of the two trees interact.WIDER -- GRACE and NORM crouch among enormous octopoidalroots. She takes a tiny sample using a needle-like probe.Norm uses a digital DEVICE to scan the roots.JAKE, bored, scouts ahead a few meters.He comes to a GLADE filled with shoulder-high SPIRAL PLANTScalled HELICORADIANS.He BRUSHES one and SHTOONK! -- it SUCKS DOWN into a tube inthe ground so quickly it seems to simply vanish.Curious, Jake touches another -- SHTOONK! And another --like popping balloons after a party. SHTOONK! SHTOONK!SHTOONK!A chain reaction begins and the whole colony pulls down intothe ground, REVEALING --A HAMMERHEAD TITANOTHERE. Like a six-legged rhinoceros, buttwice that size. Its massive, low-slung head has projectionsof bone giving it the look of a hammerhead shark.Its baleful eyes lock onto him. Jake raises his rifle.Grace, alerted by the creature’s SNORTS, runs to where shecan see the tableau. She presses her THROAT MIKE. GRACE Don’t shoot. You’ll piss it off.
  33. 33. 32.The bull HAMMERHEAD bellows and lowers its 3 meter widesledgehammer of a skull. JAKE It’s already pissed off! GRACE Jake, that armor’s too thick. Trust me.Jake starts to back away. The hammerhead bellows again,pawing the earth. GRACE It’s a territorial threat display. Do not run, or he’ll charge. JAKE What do I do? GRACE Hold your ground!The hammerhead SLASHES its head sideways, splinteringsaplings. It bellows again, lowers its head and CHARGES --Jake SCREAMS at the top of his lungs, spreads his arms wideand runs straight at the thing.It STOPS abruptly, with an oversized BLEAT.ON JAKE -- amazed the gambit worked. JAKE Oh yeah! Who’s bad?! That’s right.SOMETHING rises up behind him out of focus --A THANATOR. The most awesome land predator the universe hasever conceived This thing could eat a T-rex and have theAlien for desert.It is a black six-limbed panther from Hell, with an armoredhead and massive distensible jaws.JAKE, unaware of the advancing thanator, is still bracing thehammerhead -- JAKE That’s what I’m talkin’ about, bitch!The bull wheels around, TRUMPETING in fear, and CRASHES awaythrough splintering undergrowth.
  34. 34. 33. JAKE That’s right motherf--A guttural SNARL behind him. Jake spins in time to see --THREE TONS of rippling thanator LAUNCH over him, landingbetween him and the hammerhead. The ground shakes.The thanator emits an earsplitting ROAR, enraged that thehammerhead got away. It twists on itself, turning to faceJake, and bares its fangs with a lethal HISS. JAKE What about this one? Run, don’t run? What? GRACE Run. Definitely RUN!Jake BOLTS as --The thanator LEAPS after him and --Jake launches himself between two large trunks, forcing thebeast to claw its way around to the side while --Jake scrambles up -- around -- over a tangle of roots and --SK-RASH!! CLAWS SLASH the air behind him, EXPLODING bark offa trunk as --JAKE wills himself forward in a frenzy. With rippling musclethe beast is airborne again, blacking out the sun but --JAKE dives under a massive root system, and --CRASH! Kindling rains around him as the beast tears into theroot-trunks above him. Claws SLASH down next to him as herolls and crawls --Glistening jaws SMASH and SNAP against the barrier trunks,sending chunks of wood flying. It’s spittle sprays acrossJake, jaws inches away as --He rolls onto his back, and FIRES his AR point blank but therifle is SNATCHED out of his hands. The beast SCREECHES anungodly WAIL of pain and rage and -- RIPS the ENTIRE TRUNKaway. Jake scrambles to escape but --GLISTENING JAWS lunge downward, SNAP SHUT and --The creature rips Jake out of the tree, shaking him like ajunkyard dog with a rabbit, only --
  35. 35. 34.It has him by the BACKPACK, so Jake unlatches it and --He FLIES FREE as the thanator crushes the pack with itsteeth. Giving Jake a moment to sprint away, but --With a hideous BELLOW the thanator crashes after him,splintering trees.JAKE RUNS in a blur, dodging between trunks as a glisteningblack tornado shreds the forest behind him and --He sees WATER ahead and DIVES OUTWARD with all his might --The thanator’s jaws SNAP SHUT inches behind him as he fliesout into open space and --JAKE SPLASHES down into a swiftly moving river.The thanator LEAPS DOWN AFTER HIM, pursuing from rock torock, its claws swiping like a grizzly fishing for salmon.Jake ducks under as -- FWHOOSH! -- black claws SLASH pasthis face amid turbulent bubbles.A WATERFALL ahead. Jake is swept over the falls, with thethanator SWIPING at him from a rock, just MISSING and --Jake disappears down the throat of the thundering cataract.EXT. RIVER BELOW FALLS - DAYThe water boils below the cataract. Jake’s head burststhrough the surface, and he gasps for breath.He is carried along by the current, but manages to grab alimb on a fallen tree. He weakly pulls himself up, and justlies there gasping on the trunk.Above him, on the cliff, the THANATOR BELLOWS, a roar whichechoes across the jungle. CUT TO:EXT. RAINFOREST - DAYJAKE, wet and bruised, crouches under a screen of giantleaves. He hacks manically at the end of a cut sapling withhis knife, forming a crude but sharp tip.EXT. RAINFOREST - DAYTRACKING with Jake as he walks through the forest like it’s aminefield, carrying his SPEAR white-knuckled. He is freakedand hyper-alert.
  36. 36. 35.The trees here are a hundred meters high, blocking out thesky. A few pencil beams of sunlight filter down into thecyan gloom.POV FROM ABOVE -- looking down through leaves we watch Jakemove warily through the forest.ECU -- TWO GOLDEN EYES, bright in the shadows.DOWNANGLE as Jake passes under a tree limb. Invisible tohim, draped on the limb like a leopard, is a striking NA’VIGIRL. She watches, only her eyes moving.She is lithe as a cat, with a long neck, muscular shoulders,and nubile breasts. And she is devastatingly beautiful --for a girl with a tail. In human age she would be 18. Hername is NEYTIRI(nay-Tee-ree).Jake passes less than 2 meters beneath her, oblivious.NEYTIRI rises soundlessly. In one fluid, sinuous movementshe NOCKS an arrow to her BOW and DRAWS, aiming RIGHT ATJAKE. Utterly silent.Below her Jake is totally unaware of the arrow aimed at hisTHROAT.ON NEYTIRI as she follows him with the bow, muscles tensingfor the shot ---- and SOMETHING drifts down in front of her, F.G. Shehesitates.RACK FOCUS to the tip of the arrow -- where a singleWOODSPRITE floats down to land on the arrow-head.Like adandelion seed, but larger, the WOODSPRITE waves its silkyCILIA, feather light, as it balances on the deadly point. Itglows faintly in the dark shadows.NEYTIRI frowns, puzzled, and LOWERS her bow slowly. Thewoodsprite WHIRLS away into the gloom. CUT TO:INT./EXT. SAMSON - SUNSETGRACE and NORM peer down into the shadowed forest as TRUDYbanks in a search pattern. TRUDY (INTERCOM) I’m going to have to call it, guys. We’re not allowed to run night ops. Colonel’s orders.
  37. 37. 36.Grace looks to the west. The sun setting behind alien trees. GRACE Shit. TRUDY Sorry, Doc. He’s just gonna have to hang on ‘till morning. GRACE He’s not going to make it till morning.Grace stares into the dark forest as the Samson banks hard,thundering away toward the setting sun. CUT TO:EXT. RAINFOREST - NIGHTLONG LENS-- POLYPHEMUS. The giant planet rises behind theblack trees.Jake’s got a new problem. He sees shapes moving with liquidgrace in the NIGHT shadows behind him. He is being stalked bya pack of VIPERWOLVES.Jake catches only glimpses -- a glint of eyes, a slinkingblack movement -- then nothing. Darkness.TIME CUT -- TIGHT ON Jake’s hands as he knots his T-shirtaround the butt end of the spear.ANGLE ON THICK SAP trickling down a tree-trunk. Jake jamsthe makeshift torch into the sap, soaking the shirt with it.A WATERPROOF MATCH from his survival kit lights the torch.The torch creates a pool of light surrounded by pulsing,leaping shadows. Jake turns warily as he moves along thetrail.Behind him are several pairs of reflective green EYES.Another pair flanking him beside the trail. Black-on-blackSHAPES which seem to flow like liquid.He looks up -- sees one cross a limb overhead. Another onhis opposite flank.Then a hideous sound, like a hyenas psychotic LAUGH.The VIPERWOLVES can run like a dog and climb like a monkey.They are hunting Jake from the ground and the trees.
  38. 38. 37.JAKE RUNS by torch-light, on the edge of panic. He reaches asteep banked stream and -- without thinking -- runs across iton a horizontal trunk ---- and STOPS DEAD on the other side. The torch illuminatesGREEN EYES cutting ahead of him across the trail. Theviperwolves have him encircled.The psychotic BARKS become more intense as they signal eachother, getting excited. ONE MAKES A RUN at him, angling onhis legs from behind but --JAKE WHIRLS, jamming the torch in its face. It yips and goespast, but ANOTHER moves in --He jabs it with the business end of the spear and it SNARLS,retreating, baring its fangs.Now half a dozen are circling him in the open, and he seeswhat he’s up against. The VIPERWOLVES are six-limbed withshiny chitinous skin, their paws leathery BLACK HANDS.Intelligent eyes. Glistening black teeth in dead white gums.Jake realizes that he is making his final stand. He whirlsthe torch in an arc, keeping them at bay --And feels a rush of adrenaline. It goes through him like alightning bolt and the fear is gone. JAKE (screaming) I don’t have all goddamn night! Come on! Come on!With snarls and a blur of motion THEY ATTACK.Jake CRACKS the spear down on one, then SPINS as --ANOTHER LEAPS at him and he plants the spear in it, strikingtrue, but --Its momentum wrenches it from his hands, and the torch goesflying. Left in semi-darkness, Jake draws his KNIFE as--A WOLF LUNGES, sinking its teeth into his arm. He YELLS inpain and fury, SLASHING with the knife which --CUTS deep into the beast’s shoulder and it lets go.JAKE SPRINTS, trying to escape, but a snarling viperwolfleaps, GRABBING him by the ankle with its fore-hand. Jaketears away, sprawling, SCRAMBLING to get up as --
  39. 39. 38.THREE WOLVES charge at once. The nearest LEAPS at his throatjust as --THUNK!! -- an ARROW appears in its chest.The wolf lands on him, already a dead weight. He pushes itoff in time to see --A BLUE AMAZON emerge from the trees, nock another arrow, drawand FIRE in one fluid motion. AN UNEARTHLY YOWL as anotherwolf falls.NEYTIRI LEAPS right over Jake, and CRACKS her bow down on theskull of a circling wolf.ANOTHER SPRINGS at her and she drops under its weight, butrolls, coming up on top of it with a knife in her hand.Her knife FLASHES down, buried to the hilt in its chest.SNARLING, a wounded wolf attacks Jake, and he KICKS it away,but --It SPINS and leaps back onto him, and Jake barely catches itsthroat in time to keep the SNAPPING JAWS away from his face.MEANWHILE Neytiri swings her bow in a big arc, CRACKING ITacross the heads and shoulders of two remaining wolves. NEYTIRI Rrreeyaaah! Hyaaaah!!The wolves slink and circle, yelping as the bow whistles pastthem. Finally they break and run, with Neytiri chasing and--They bound away through the foliage as she SHOUTS after them-- NEYTIRI Raaaarrrr!Jake has his adversary pinned and is choking it with all hisweight. Finally it stops thrashing. Panting, he releases itand looks up at --NEYTIRI. Her tail LASHES as she scans the forest, listeningto the fading YELPS of the wolves. Satisfied the attack isover, she turns.She regards him coldly for a second, then walks past him.Neytiri picks up the torch and extinguishes it in a stream. JAKE Wait, don’t --
  40. 40. 39.Jake blinks around at the darkness -- realizing he can stillsee. In fact, with the blinding torchlight gone, the forestis transformed.The jungle has come alive with BIOLUMINESCENCE -- spots andpatterns, ghosts and galaxies of blue-green light.Jake scrambles to recover his spear. Neytiri kneels beside --A DYING WOLF. It’s CRIES are pitiful. It paws the air,trying to raise its head. She pulls her KNIFE from itschest. NEYTIRI (in Na’vi) Forgive me, my brother.She cuts its throat, ending the pitiful cries. She touchesits head gently, regarding it with sadness.Neytiri wipes the knife and returns it to the sheath at herwaist. She crosses to another slain wolf and kneels, pullingthe arrow from its heart. JAKE Look, um, I know you probably don’t understand this. But -- thanks. Thank you. I owe you.Neytiri ignores him, assuming a prayer posture over the deadanimal. NEYTIRI (in Na’vi) Forgive me. May your spirit run with the Great Mother. JAKE I would have been screwed if you hadn’t come along --She rises and walks away without looking at Jake. JAKE Hey, wait. Wait! Where you goin’?He crashes through some plants, catching up to her. JAKE Slow down a second will you. I just want to thank you for killing those --He makes the mistake of grasping her shoulder and --
  41. 41. 40.WHACK! She WALLOPS him upside the head with her bow in afierce backhand swing, laying him out flat.He looks up to see a FURY standing over him. A Fury whospeaks English -- accented, halting, angry English. NEYTIRI Don’t thank! You don’t thank for this! This is sad. Very sad, only. JAKE Okay, I’m sorry. Whatever I did -- I’m sorry.She gestures at the bodies of the viperwolves. NEYTIRI All this is your fault! They did not need to die. JAKE They attacked me. How’m I the bad guy here--She silences him with the tip of her bow at his throat. NEYTIRI Your fault! You are like a baby, making noise, don’t know what to do. You should not come here, all of you! You only come and make problems. Only.Jake gets up, slowly, facing her. JAKE Okay, fine, you love your little forest friends. So why not just let them kill my ass? What’s the thinking?CU Neytiri -- looking away. Finally, reluctantly, her eyesMEET HIS for the first time -- a riveting gaze with those biggold orbs. NEYTIRI Why save you? JAKE Yes, why save me? NEYTIRI You have a strong heart. No fear.She leans closer --
  42. 42. 41. NEYTIRI But stupid! Ignorant like a child!She turns away, stalking off, but Jake goes after her.TRACKING WITH Neytiri as she climbs nimbly along a huge ROOT.WIDER as she trots with perfect balance along the root, whichforms an elevated walkway.Jake runs to catch up, realizing suddenly that he is farabove the forest floor. Throughout the following they movethrough a GLOWING PHANTASMAGORICAL FOREST. JAKE If I’m so ignorant, maybe you should teach me. NEYTIRI Sky people can not learn. You do not See.She leaps to another elevated root. Jake follows, surprisedthat he made it. JAKE Whooaa.He runs to catch up with her easy jogging pace. JAKE Then teach me to “see.”She stops and he almost runs into her. NEYTIRI No one can teach you to See.Then she turns and trots on.EXT. GORGE - NIGHTThey run across the elevated root of an enormous tree -- ahorizontal trunk big as an oak.WIDE SHOT as they cross a DEEP GORGE. A waterfall shimmerssilver in the Polyphemus-light. Vines hang down a hundredfeet into the gorge, and among them swoop stingbats and othernight flyers. JAKE Hey, slow down. Look, I think we just got off on the wrong foot and --
  43. 43. 42.Jake looks down, suddenly aware of the height. JAKE --you just have to get to know me. I’m Jake. Jake Sull--A vine catches his spear and spins him off balance. He dropsthe spear and almost falls off the root. JAKE Whooaaa -- shit!Neytiri catches him with one hand, gripping his bicep. Hewatches the spear cartwheel down to splash in the river.She pulls him upright. Shouts at him in English and Na’vi. JAKE I need your help. NEYTIRI You should not be here. JAKE So take me with you. NEYTIRI No. You go back.DOWN ANGLE FROM FAR ABOVE -- several WOODSPRITES float downthrough the trees. FOLLOW THEM as they descend silentlytoward Jake and Neytiri.NEYTIRI, sensing a presence, looks up to see --The WOODSPRITES, PULSING with purpose, float right towardsJake. They dance gently around his shoulders and head. JAKE (off her amazed look) What?More woodsprites gather around him. Several ALIGHT on him.Jake holds still, knowing he should be afraid -- but somehowhe’s not. He spreads his arms. More sprites come, landingall over his arms, hands, body. JAKE What are they?CU NEYTIRI -- reacting with a mixture of wonder and dread.
  44. 44. 43. NEYTIRI Atokirina’. Seeds of the Great Tree -- very pure spirits.Jake -- now a pulsing, glowing, fluttering MASS OF LIGHT --moves one hand slowly, not wanting to break the spell. Hestudies one of the sprites dancing on his palm until ---- WHOOSSHH! the woodsprites whirl up and away, scatteringinto the darkness. JAKE What was that all about?Neytiri seems shaken. She seizes his hand and pulls himafter her. NEYTIRI Come! CUT TO:EXT. RAINFOREST - NIGHTTRACKING WITH JAKE as he gazes about him in growing wonder.He touches leaves as he passes, watching the bioluminescenceshiver through them.Jake looks down as -- they cross a bed of purple MOSS whichreacts to the pressure of their footsteps. Rings of greenlight, like ripples on a pond, expand outward from eachfootfall. Exploding rings of light where his feet touchdown. Dream-like, surreal beauty.WIDE ON THEM as they run over a large root, across a mirror-like POOL at the base of a WATERFALL.Jake follows Neytiri, running along a raised root-trunk. JAKE What’s your name?JAKE hears WHOOSH-WHOOSH and snaps a look as a BOLO flies athim, spinning end for end and --SHWHAP!! -- tangles around his legs. He topples off the rootand crashes into the foliage below.JAKE untangles himself, getting up to run just as --SEVERAL NA’VI RIDERS thunder toward him. They are ridingDIREHORSES -- six-legged, armor-skinned alien Clydesdales.
  45. 45. 44.We see that the riders’ QUEUES are connected to the horses’long moth-like antennae -- a neural-link with which they cancommand the horse, leaving hands free for weapons.The riders aim bows and spears at Jake as they approach. Jaketurns to bolt, but --NA’VI HUNTERS melt out of the shadows, weapons aimed --blocking his retreat.Neytiri drops to the ground next to Jake and confronts theLEAD RIDER. She shouts sharply in Na’vi -- NEYTIRI (subtitled) Tsu’tey, what are you doing?! He is my captive!TSU’TEY(tsu-Tay)is young and powerfully built, with sculptedfeatures and a proud jawline, piercing eyes. Tsutey swingsoff his mount with fluid grace. TSU’TEY (subtitled) These demons are forbidden here. I will kill this one as a lesson to the others!Tsu’tey draws his bow but Neytiri leaps between him and Jake,confronting him warrior to warrior. NEYTIRI (subtitled) Stop! There has been a sign. This is a matter for the Tsahik.Tsu’tey clenches his jaw with frustration -- frustration withher as much as the situation. He turns and angrily remountshis direhorse, barking a command to the HUNTERS. TSU’TEY (subtitled) Bring him.They grab Jake and haul him to his feet. Encircled by spearsand bows, he is shoved forward along the trail, as Tsu’teyand the others ride ahead. CUT TO:EXT. HOMETREE - NIGHTJAKE is hauled roughly toward Neytiri’s village, which issheltered inside one of the GREAT TREES. HOMETREE is 250meters tall, with a trunk four times the diameter of thelargest Sequoia, and a base of massive mangrove-pillars.
  46. 46. 45.TSU’TEY rides inside the columns at the base of Hometree,shouting an ululating WARNING.Jake is force-marched through the pillars into --INT. COMMONS/HOMETREE - NIGHTAn open CENTRAL AREA. The villagers gather to see thearriving hunt party. We see the people of the tribe --mothers with babies, old women, young hunters.They gawk at the alien, expressions ranging from curiosity tooutright hostility. The huge eyes of the children followhim.Jake is amazed at the size of HOMETREE inside. By the lightof the COOK-FIRES he can see up into a vast cylindricalgallery -- a living cathedral.Clear membranes -- sturmbeest bladders -- filled withfluttering bio-luminescent insects, act as area lighting.The central space is dominated by the SKULL of some enormouscreature, mounted with much embellishment on a TOTEM.Standing in front of this, awaiting their approach, is --EYTUKAN (AY-too-kahn), the Clan Leader. Eytukan has deeplychiselled features and a long chest mantle of THANATOR CLAWS.His normally stern features are clouded further by anger. EYTUKAN (subtitled) Why do you bring this creature here?Neytiri addresses Eytukan in Na’vi. NEYTIRI (subtitled) I was going to kill him, but there was a sign from Eywa.He glowers at her as he responds, pointing at Jake. EYTUKAN (subtitled) I have said no dreamwalker will come here, to offend our home! His alien smell fills my noseNeytiri stands her ground, answering in a respectful but notsubmissive tone.
  47. 47. 46. NEYTIRI (subtitled) Father, many atokirina came to this alien. JAKE What’s going on? NEYTIRI My father is deciding whether to kill you. JAKE Your father!? (to Eytukan) Uh, good to meet you, sir.Jake steps forward, offering his hand, and the hunters JUMPto restrain him, shouting. But they all FREEZE as --A commanding FEMALE VOICE echoes through the chamber. MO’AT (Na’vi) Step back!Everybody looks up.MO’AT (MOH-aht) stands on the second level, looking down.She is a severe woman in her 50’s. Her bearing is haughty,her expression friendly as a hanging-judge. Her outfit iselaborate, denoting her rank as CLAN MATRIARCH. MO’AT (subtitled) I will look at this alien.There is an expectant hush as Moat descends the helical coreof Hometree, a kind of natural spiral staircase. NEYTIRI That is Mother. She is Tsahik -- the one who interprets the will of Eywa. JAKE Who’s Eywa?Neytiri kneels before her like an acolyte as Mo’at passes.The villagers stare silently as the Matriarch circles slowlyaround Jake, examining his tail and the end of his queue.
  48. 48. 47. MO’AT (thick accent) What are you called? JAKE Jake Sully.She produces a long THORN between her fingertips. With aflourish she strikes his chest.Jake flinches. RED BLOOD wells up and Moat rubs somebetween her fingertips. She tastes it. MOAT Why did you come to us? JAKE I came to learn. MOAT We have tried to teach other Sky People. It is hard to fill a cup which is already full. JAKE My cup is empty, trust me. Just ask Doctor Augustine. I’m no scientist. MOAT What are you? JAKE I don’t know. I was a Marine -- uh, a warrior. Of the Jarhead clan. TSU’TEY (subtitled) A warrior! I could kill him easily! EYTUKAN (subtitled) No! This is the first warrior dreamwalker we have seen. We need to learn more about him. JAKE What’s going on? What are they saying? MO’AT (to Neytiri, subtitled) Daughter. You will teach him our way, to speak and walk as we do.
  49. 49. 48.NEYTIRI looks shocked, then angry. NEYTIRI (subtitled) Why me? Thats not fair! I only-- MO’AT (subtitled) It is decided!Neytiri subsides, turning to glare at Jake. MOAT (to Jake) My daughter will teach you our ways. Learn well, Jakesully. We will see if your insanity can be cured.She turns to Neytiri, her expression stern -- MOAT (subtitled) He is your responsibility.Neytiri nods, accepting, but she’s not a happy camper. Shegrabs Jake’s arm and pulls him roughly away. JAKE So it’s all good, right? You and me -- NEYTIRI Do not speak. CUT TO:INT. SECOND LEVEL/HOMETREELATER, Neytiri leads Jake up the spiral to the SECOND LEVEL.He now wears only a ratty LOINCLOTH. His wounds are boundwith plant-fiber bandages.THE ENTIRE CLAN is squatting at dinner in a huge circle. Theystop talking and turn to gaze at Jake as he enters thecircle. JAKE Don’t get up.Neytiri crosses the circle to the cook pit and returns withseveral large leaves heaped with food. She kneels next toJake, placing the food in front of him almost DEFIANTLY. JAKE You never told me your name.
  50. 50. 49. NEYTIRI Neytiri te Ckaha Moat’ite. JAKE Okay, again, a whole lot slower. NEYTIRI (exaggerated slowness) Neytiri. Nay-TEE-ree.Jake knows she’s baiting him. He smiles in response. JAKE Nay-TEE-ree. That’s nice. Nay-TEE-ree.ACROSS THE CIRCLE, Tsu’tey, Moat and Eytukan sit together,glancing up occasionally from their food to the stranger. TSU’TEY (subtitled) These aliens try to look like people, but they can’t. MOAT (subtitled) He seems dim to me. And his eyes are too small.NEYTIRI motions for Jake to take portions from the servingleaves onto his own leaf. JAKE Your mom likes me. I can tell.MO’AT, watching Jake and Neytiri, leans over to Eytukan. MOAT (subtitled) Neytiri will test this “warrior.” Hey may learn nothing -- but we will learn much. EYTUKAN You speak truth. We must understand these Sky People if we are to drive them out.Jake munches on a white shrimp-like thing. JAKE These rock. What are they? NEYTIRI Teylu. You call beetle larvae.
  51. 51. 50.Jake blanches. She heaps some more onto his leaf -- aCHALLENGE -- and Jake meets her eyes, takes a handful, andstarts munching enthusiastically. JAKE That’s some damn fine teylu. That’s like grandma’s teylu.CU TSU’TEY, warily eyeing Jake -- TSU’TEY (subtitled) I say she will kill him. CUT TO:INT. THIRD LEVEL - NIGHTThe sleeping level -- families nesting in groups on wovenhammocks the size of trampolines. The hunters sleep alongSPOKES joining the inner trunk to the tree’s outer shell.Jake lies awake in a hammock, people rustling in the darknessaround him. Neytiri is nearby, curled up like a little girl.She stares at him for a moment, then closes her eyes.Jake watches the glowing bugs fluttering inside a night-light, a pulse of life energy. A strange peace spreadsthrough him. He closes his eyes and -- CUT TO:INT. LINK ROOM - NIGHTGRACE is over JAKE in the Link, SLAPPING him, as Max and NORMhover. GRACE Come on back, kid, that’s it. JAKE Wha --? Oh.He looks around, blinking. Reality crashing in. GRACE Damn, you were dug in like a tick. (she helps him sit up) Is the avatar safe? JAKE (huge grin) Yeah, Doc -- and you are not going to believe where I am. CUT TO:
  52. 52. 51.INT. COMMISSARY - MORNINGBREAKFAST the next day. The other drivers lean forward,hanging on Grace’s re-telling of the tale. GRACE -- so the kid’s out there one night and he’s got the Queen Bitch herself offering him the spare room and the car keys. Unbelievable. JAKE It’s not something you can teach.Some of the other scientists clap Jake on the shoulders incongratulation. MAX That’s awesome, Jake.NORM chomps his bacon, fuming. GRACE (to Jake, getting serious) For reasons I cannot fathom, the Omaticaya have chosen you. God help us all. CUT TO:INT. OPS CENTER - MORNINGJAKE has reported to SELFRIDGE and QUARITCH. Quaritch turnsfrom gazing out at the wall of forest, displaying a feralgrin. QUARITCH Jarhead clan? (he laughs) And that worked? JAKE (grinning) Yeah. They want to study me. See if I can learn to be one of them. QUARITCH That’s how you seize the initiative. I wish I had ten more like you. SELFRIDGE Look, Sully -- find out what these blue monkeys want. (MORE)
  53. 53. 52. SELFRIDGE (contd) We try to give them medicine and education. Roads! But no -- they like mud. I wouldn’t care except --Selfridge turns to a large 3D GRAPHIC DISPLAY, pointing. Aroad runs from Hell’s Gate to a proposed new mine miles away. SELFRIDGE Their damn village is sitting right over the richest unobtanium deposit for a hundred klicks in any direction. Which sucks -- for them -- because they need to relocate. JAKE (taking that in) Does Augustine know about this? SELFRIDGE Yeah, she does, and she’s on the next ship back if she tries to cock-block me on it. JAKE So -- who talks them into moving? QUARITCH (turning) Guess. JAKE What if they won’t go? QUARITCH (icy) I’m betting they will. SELFRIDGE Killing the indigenous looks bad, but there’s one thing shareholders hate more than bad press -- and that’s a bad quarterly statement. Find me a carrot to get them to move, or it’s going to have to be all stick.Jake is shaken by the enormity of this new responsibility. QUARITCH You got three months. That’s when the dozers get there. JAKE I’m on it. CUT TO:
  54. 54. 53.INT. BIO LAB - MORNINGJAKE pumps his chair across the lab, flanked by GRACE andNORM. Grace holds STEREO STILL PICTURES in front of him, oneat a time -- images of clan members she has shot over theyears -- a kind of flash card drill. JAKE Tsu’tey. (next photo) Mo’at. (next photo) Eytukan. GRACE He’s the clan leader -- (indicating Mo’at) -- but she’s the spiritual leader. Like a shaman.INT. LINK ROOMThe dialogue is continuous as they enter. JAKE Got it. So who’s this Eywa? NORM Who’s Eywa? Oh, only their deity. The Great Mother. The goddess made up of all living things. You’d know that if you had any training whatsoever.He hauls himself from wheelchair to Link. JAKE Who’s got a date with the chief’s daughter? GRACE Knock it off. Jesus, it’s like kindergarten around here.As Jake settles into the soft embrace of the link, Graceinputs commands at the control station. GRACE Neytiri was my best student. She and her sister Silwanin. Just amazing girls. JAKE I didn’t meet the sister.
  55. 55. 54. GRACE (quietly) No, she’s dead. (turning to him) Okay, let’s go -- village life starts early. MAX Link is ready.Grace lowers the bio-sensor array over Jake’s chest. GRACE Don’t do anything unusually stupid.She closes the clamshell and we --INT. HOMETREE/ THIRD LEVEL - DAYCU JAKE’S AVATAR, blinking awake, staring up at --HOMETREE, like a gothic cathedral overhead. Sunlight streamsdown through gaps in the towering vault. CUT TO:INT. COMMONS - DAYJAKE walks among the villagers, who go about their dailytasks.-- young girls sit together, weaving and SINGING. They lookup as he passes, then go back to work.--two men clean the fish they’ve caught.-- a young mother pounds seeds into meal, while nursing aninfant.--children chase each other and climb like monkeys. One boldLITTLE GIRL runs up to Jake, stops -- staring -- then shriekswith laughter as she runs back to her playmates.GRINNING, Jake turns to see NEYTIRI cantering toward him on aDIREHORSE. She leads a second horse, an old sway-backedMARE. His grin drops.EXT. RIVER NEAR HOMETREE - DAYJAKE nervously grips the surcingle of the mare. Neytiri holdsits nose-ring while Jake clumsily mounts.Jake bends one of its ANTENNAE down to the tip of his queue.He hesitantly touches them together and --
  56. 56. 55.TIGHT SHOT -- the tendrils INTERWEAVE.Jake’s PUPILS DILATE and his mouth drops open. The horse’seyes also go wide and it HONKS nervously. Neytiri touches herfingertips to the neural interface. NEYTIRI This is shahaylu -- the bond. Feel her heartbeat, her breath. Feel her strong legs.Jake closes his eyes, nodding. One with the horse.TSU’TEY and another young hunter come out of the forestleading TWO DIREHORSES. The magnificent animals drink fromthe edge of the pool. Tsu’tey watches Jake’s riding lessonwith disdain. NEYTIRI You may tell her what to do -- (she touches her head) -- inside. For now, say where to go. JAKE Forward.The horse LAUNCHES into a GALLOP. Jake flops around, with noidea how to sit the animal, and is promptly THROWN OFF. Helands painfully in the mud.He gets up, brushing mud off knees and ass, as Neytiri leadsthe horse back to him. NEYTIRI Again.SERIES OF JUMP CUTS -- Jake falls off the horse in variousways, seemingly landing harder each time.ON JAKE, face down in the mud of the riverbank. He painfullyrises to hands and knees. Which is when he sees --TSU’TEY and another HUNTER thundering across the shallowriver on their direhorses. Spray blasts up from theirhooves.Jake stands, covered in mud, as Tsu’tey stops his horse nextto him, looking down with disdain. TSU’TEY You should go away.
  57. 57. 56. JAKE (to Neytiri) I knew this guy could speak English.Tsu’tey turns to Neytiri, who is leading the old mare back. TSU’TEY (subtitled) This alien will learn nothing. A rock Sees more.She sighs in agreement. Tsu’tey and the other hunter wheeltheir horses around and THUNDER OFF into the woods.NEYTIRI gestures to Jake’s horse. NEYTIRI Again. CUT TO:OPS CENTER - NIGHTGrouped around a table are JAKE, COLONEL QUARITCH, SELFRIDGEand few ENGINEERS and OFFICERS. Jake is talking them throughplans he’s made of Hometree’s inner structure. JAKE You’ve got outer columns, then a secondary ring here, and an inner ring. Then a core structure, it’s like a spiral, that’s how they move up and down. QUARITCH I’m going to need accurate scans of all these columns. JAKE Roger that.ANGLE ON MAX, at the stairwell. He’s been watching Jaketalking rapidly to Quaritch, but can’t hear him. Frowning,he backs away, down the stairs. CUT TO:INT. BIO LAB - DAYJAKE, GRACE and NORM are packing science gear and supplies. GRACE I’m not about to let Quaritch and Selfridge micro-manage this thing. (she looks pointedly at Jake) We’re going up into the mountains. (MORE)
  58. 58. 57. GRACE (contd) There’s a mobile link up at Site 26 that we can work out of. NORM The Hallelujah Mountains? GRACE That’s right. NORM Yesssss! (off Jake’s look) The legendary Floating Mountains of Pandora? Heard of them? CUT TO:EXT. RAINFOREST - AERIAL - DAYA SAMSON THUNDERS over the rainforest, climbing into the mist-shrouded mountains.In the SEALED COCKPIT, Norm is up front, sitting left seat soTrudy can talk him through the flight controls. Jake andGrace are behind them, in the jump-seats.Grace and Norm’s UNCONSCIOUS AVATARS ride in the open backcompartment. TRUDY It only takes tiny inputs. Here, put your hand on the cyclic --She points to the stick between her knees. Norm hesitantlyreaches over and rests his hand on hers. TRUDY Feel how small the moves are? You barely have to think it, and the aircraft reacts.ON NORM -- reacting to tiny inputs from the hot lady-pilot.THE SAMSON is dwarfed by enormous ARCHES OF ROCK. GRACE See these magnetic formations. We’re getting close. TRUDY Yeah we are. Look at my instruments.On the dash, many of the displays are fritzing out.

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